Sunday, January 30, 2011

Survey Says...Beans, Protein, Recovery, and Training

Aimee Lyons of CF KoP at Central East Regionals deadlifting heavy.

Q: I read the grains article, but did not see why beans are bad...??
A: Doing a quick Google search for "lectins" and "phytates," you'll find a plethora of information about why beans are not ideal in the human diet. To avoid gut irritation (read as: holes in your intestines), stay away from legumes aka beans. Yes, this includes peanuts (anybody realize how much peanut allergies have increased over the years?) and things like black beans, red beans, soy beans, etc. Technically this also includes green beans and peas, but these are less harmful and would be considered ok to include in your diet. Think about how much you need to cook these things in order to eat them. For instance, black beans need a long time to cook in order to be consumed. Meanwhile, green beans can be eaten raw. This difference is not necessarily a rule when it comes to other foods, but a loose guideline. 

Q: how often, and how much, should I consume protein?
A: This answer depends on your goals, but for the most part, aim for about 1.0 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. If you do the math, it actually comes to a lot of protein (yes, real animal protein is what I'm talking about  - fish, fowl, cattle, etc.) and you might be slightly under or slightly over this amount. Those looking to increase strength significantly should be more up around 1.25-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, and those looking at just a maintenance level might be around 0.8-1.0g. I am not much of a believer in counting calories or even macronutrients, but those who want to do a quick analysis can go to FitDay and see exactly what their habits are. This can be useful and even enlightening to realize just how much (or how little) you eat in a day. 

Q: Overtraining/undertraining...when to rest, when to work harder, how to tell when its enough, how to tell when you're fully recovered
A: While this may not technically be a question, I get what your saying. Some others might ask "I heard CrossFit prescribes 3 days on, 1 day off. Should I do this?" The answer really depends on where your fitness level is currently, and where you want it to be. It also depends on things like nutrition, sleep, types of workouts, etc. I don't think 3 on/1 off works for everyone because of these variables. I do think it's important to figure out for yourself what is best. Some people like to do Mon./Wed./Fri. because of work schedules. Others like to just get to the gym when they can. Sometimes your arms might be sore as heck, but if the workout is Tabata squats, you'll get to the box. Sleep and daily food play huge roles in your recovery, as does post WOD nutrition.  If you need a general rule, I'd say rest if the soreness prevents you from a decent intensity for that particular Workout of the Day. At the same time, do something to be mobile and active so that you can get that blood flowing and recover quicker. Stretch, do yoga, go for a stroll or jog, play with your kids, etc. 

Q: Girls going heavy?
A: Do it. For both guys and girls. As long as you are safe about it, you will increase bone density, gain strength, be faster, lean out, and gain a ton of other benefits. I once heard a great quote, "The only way you're going to swing a 70# kettlebell is if you swing a 70# kettlebell." Just do it!

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